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Wednesday 14 November 2018
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Get ready for hurricane season

Capt Neville E Wint, deputy CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM).
Capt Neville E Wint, deputy CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM).

THE Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1 and will end on November 30.

In our region we already had Alberto active May 25 – 31 and affected the Yucatan Peninsula, Cayman Islands, Cuba, South-eastern United States, Midwestern United States and Ontario. It was a subtropical storm at peak intensity getting up to 100 km/h (65 mph).

An Atlantic hurricane outlook from AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said, in the wake of Alberto, many may be wondering if early-season development translates into an active Atlantic hurricane season.

He reportedly said that there can be another storm or two that forms June into July. However, we’ll have to wait until August and September for the heart of the hurricane season and the greatest threat for major hurricanes, Kottlowski said.He added that September 4, is typically when the first major hurricane takes shape in the Atlantic Basin.

According to AccuWeather, based on information they have, it is suggesting a near-normal season, but Kottlowski said they’ll have to wait to see how the water in the main development region warms. The weather systems usually begin in the Atlantic Ocean, most times off the African continent, and then move west into the Caribbean Sea area.

Speaking about hurricane preparations in TT, Capt Neville E Wint, deputy CEO at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), a division of the Ministry of National Security, told Newsday recently that the agency is already co-ordinating with other support agencies.

“We are prepared to support incident response co-ordinated hazard impact. We have been working and co-ordinating with other first responders and support agencies to ensure that the country can respond to hazard impacts as they occur,” Wint said. Among the first responders Wint said the ODPM is co-ordinating with are the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, the Ministry of Works, Ministry of People and Family Services, the Defence Force (TTDF), Police Service (TTPS), Fire Services, the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), NGOs and faith-based organisations (FBOs).

Wint added that the collaboration with the respondents include their early warning points, with particular reference to the Met service agency to ensure that the ODPM is notified so they can notify the public in a timely manner where necessary of hazard impacts. The ODPM houses the National Emergency Operation Centre to which they have emergency support functions which are representative of agencies who are called upon to assist in the co-ordination of response in support of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government as it happens. Wint said, “We are equipped as the event will display itself, and that refers to Trinidad and Tobago. The response is a Government all-out approach and therefore the impact of the hazard.... any incident will test your system so right now the response mechanism in TT is equipped to respond to a hazard impact.

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